VH1's Do Something Awards 2012: 'New Girl's' Jake Johnson gives back

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Jake Johnson of "New Girl" is jazzed about co-hosting VH1's Tuesday, Aug. 21, telecast of the "Do Something Awards" with co-stars Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris, and not just because they get to promote their FOX sitcom hit.

Johnson says he grew up in a family where public service was a way of life, so this special, which honors both celebrities and civilians who have given of themselves to help others, has true resonance for him.

"In the industry that I am in, where we have a lot of awards shows patting each other on the back, it's nice to do one for young people who actually are trying to change the world and make it a better place," the actor tells Zap2it. "What I am excited about with these awards is that a lot of times when you are doing something on a smaller scale that people don't see, a lot of these people never get rewarded.

"This isn't a line of work where there are parties and photographs and awards and speeches. So it's really nice to have an awards ceremony where you have celebrities and other public figures to draw more attention to say what this is really about: people who are using their time and their effort to improve others' lives."

Neil Patrick Harris, Ian Somerhalder, Ben Affleck, Taylor Swift and Emma Stone are among the stars nominated for their unselfish work, but five noncelebrity nominees also are being honored for projects ranging from helping Sudanese refugees to raising awareness of the global water crisis. One of these young volunteers will receive a $100,000 award for his or her project.

"I feel like I've had a pretty privileged life, especially now being on a show like 'New Girl,' so anytime people who are less fortunate need help or to have a spotlight put on them and raise awareness for their cause, that's something I really get passionate about," Johnson says.
Photo/Video credit: FOX